tv American Artifacts International Spy Museum Exhibit on Cold War Berlin CSPAN November 9, 2019 12:00pm-12:31pm EST
ringing] >> american history tv product's are now available on the c-span online store. go to c-span.org to check out what is new for american history tv. artifacts takes --wers and we visit the international spy museum to tour their exhibit on cold war berlin. and shows us artifacts used by the east germans to spy on visitors and control their own citizens.
>> i am a curator historian at the international spy museum. have the largest collection of espionage and intelligence related artifacts in the world. after world war ii ended, germany was divided. france,ed states, united kingdom and soviet union. soviet union -- again with the soviets occupying the eastern zone of berlin and the three western powers occupying the western zone. this starts the division of and berlin.
the became concrete with direction of the berlin wall -- with the berlin wall. the wall was put up by east germans of stents of late to keep people out. and with the occupation of east germany and east berlin, hundreds of thousands of people in the east had been fleeing to the west. these numbers became larger and larger. it was a terrible drain of skills in the east. the east germans called what we called the berlin wall the anti-fascist fork.
it was to keep out the fascist, to keep out the west. keep million of these germans in as well. the city of berlin was completely isolated within east germany. we had west berlin, set up as a political and economic system that was democratic and capitalist, completely surrounded by communist east germany. a symbol of the division between east and west and dump -- and communist and democratic system. the berlin wall itself was about
96 miles long, completely separating west berlin from east berlin. again, cutting it off from the rest of east germany. we had a couple of pieces of the berlin wall i would like to show you. we have two authentic pieces of the berlin wall here. we ship them over to washington, d.c. from germany and put them up here. most people, they think of all the graffiti and color and designs on the wall. these are completely plain. that's because they were on the people were not
allowed to graffiti the wall. they did not want people drawing on the wall was because having the wall be completely plain makes it easier for the guard to see people. visiblethem more against plain background. before the berlin wall was felt, several million of the 3 million people cross the border from east to west. people didn't stop trying to get out of east germany. tried to,000 people get out and half that number were successful.
we have some great stories about people who were successful. of avery and a lot of creativity. the berlin wall was not just one wall, it was two walls. with a strip in the middle known as cap -- known as death strip. we actually had one wall, a death strip, and another wall. we have a few examples, two families that build hot air balloons and able to float across into west germany. they made the balloon part out
of sheets and other pieces of material, which they stitched together. another extraordinary story. one brother floated across the river in an air masters. another brother was able to zipline across the border. he took some fishing line, connect did it to steel cables and shot it across the border. a third brother was act fully able to slide across with a small light airplane. his other brothers mess among the other side. these stories are stories of success. there were many stories that ended in tragedy.
>> at least 140 people were killed trying to cross the berlin wall. tried to climb the wall, they tried to cross the river, they approached the wall. some of the most tragic stories are about people who tried to cross the wall and their deaths were covered up. escape from east germany was a client -- was a crime. even the fact that people wanted to try to escape wasn't something that the state needed to cover up. we have three stories about people who died at the wall and the stories were covered up.
aboutagic story is gerald, a worker in west berlin. one night it appears he may have and he much to drink stumbled into the area near the wall, stumbled close to the wall and the guards to the east warned him to go away. he was then shot 177 time. his wife back in west berlin knew nothing, only that her husband had not come home that night. extraordinary,re
he made up an entire cover story for his wife as to why he never returned read they went so far as to show her a file where they had staged photographs. this was entirely made up. she was unable to find out the truth decades later. let's give a another message of people trying to escape from west berlin -- east berlin. going a throttle -- going to cross through checkpoints. have a cutaway of a popular car at the time.
can you imagine sitting into the wheel well of the car? sometimes hours on end without having to give it away? sometimes taking them apart completely. people, weid catch know sometimes they would make these people show where they had showing.d take photos and the amazing places they were trying to hide. security was known in east germany and anybody would have to be aware they were going to be spied upon. let's go look for the ways
that's going to happen. >> it was a hotel especially for foreign guests. in fact nicknamed for the hotel was -- artifactsme wonderful to spy upon visitors at the hotel like this. it's been modified. take a close look, you may be able to see that behind the window, where the cuckoo would come out, is a tiny pinhole. ahind that pinhole would be wonderful piece, a through the wall camera.
some of these would be located on the others of this wall, looking through the eyepieces here. this long section would be going through the wall. when you are sitting in your hotel, you are being spied upon by somebody behind the wall. what is the best thing to use as a concealment, something you would never think to conceal anything suspicious? one of them is a walnut shell. would think anything suspicious about that? one of these walnut shells
contain a one-time pad. paper that can be used for communicating in and important ways of communicating secretly, because it is completely unbreakable. this bowl of walnuts was ofually in the apartment somebody in west germany who was a spy. west german security who were looking at the apartment and investigating it had an idea that this may not be what it looks like. and for one of them it was a glow. they were able to find the one
time pass. here's another object which you might not suspected all, which is anything other than being an ordinary iron. an agent in west germany had this iron in her apartments. the bottom came out and she could keep in there some papers. if somebody did come into the apartment and was looking around, she was able to incinerate the evidence. we found a number of pieces of clothing which are concealments for other cameras. the other is the pair of gloves here. this wereas like usually used with two hands.
you need a secondhand to wind the film on. it means and can be sealed and things like gloves, so can be activated with just one hand. >> even when you are visiting the international spy museum, you are under surveillance when you are east berlin. that can be seen in our office. here we are in the office. we have a lot of different
reflect theat incredible expertise in doing surveillance. one of our favorite artifacts is the bra camera. we have the file that shows how this was invented. clothing wasn't any that helped women conceal area younce cameras can see the lenses right in the middle. this plunger here would be in the pocket of your summer dress.
the four women -- it had a codename. another are in effect here. some of our exceptional artifacts -- the chief of the foreign intelligence branch was marcus wolf, the notorious spymaster. he was a master of doing so. one of his techniques he developed was developing -- -- theyng people targeted secretaries at nato, others maybe not so young but
women who are a little younger. get aould seduce them and lot of intelligence out of them. even up to the very highest levels of the west german chancellorship. incus wolf had a reputation the west for being extremely elusive. it was because of western intelligence. they scoured photos coming out of east germany to find this man looked like. it was not until the end of the cold war they were able to identify. some artifacts from marcus wolf itself -- himself.
horns.have the elk marcus wolf had a summer house outside of berlin which he like to use as a place to people to bring come -- place to bring people who are comfortable. they were being recorded all the time. the elk horns had a bug planted in the back. second time we have these beer coasters here. the leadership all has bunkers, where they can retreat to if there was any kind of threat of a nuclear attack. marcus wolf also had his bunker. he had these beer coasters are especially made in this cartoonish figure.
we have a wonderful artifact here that the officers would receive as part of that training . display a criminalist kit. espionage was of course a crime. how do you crotch -- how do you catch criminals. wouldy who is training have taken a course at the university in east berlin. they would have received this complete kit, which is everything you need. can see a lot of pretty screwdriver,les, a a pair of pliers, rubber glove.
some test tubes and little glass bottles where you may be able to store hair and fiber samples. to be able to put any kind of along the way. it is an entire kit for a spy catcher. >> there were serious consequences in east or lynn. this is a prison outside of east berlin. it is the actual door from one of the prison cells. this house is local prisoners, that maybe anybody who tried to escape from east berlin.
for having some ideas and thoughts that may not be compatible with the communist system, as the one who may be expected as having some of the west, anything of that nature. they might stay there for days, months. we did not believe in physical torture, they develop their own type of and garrett -- type of interrogation method that focuses much more on the psychological. somebody might be subjected to very cold temperatures. they would not be allowed to sleep for very long. if they moved it all, they tried to roll over, than they had to
maintain that same condition. it was all part of the stretching and breaking so many down psychologically. perhaps confess to crimes. releasedr somebody was from prison, they may still remain a suspect. you can take a look at that story next. , one other piece of information is amay be collecting person's sent. they may have a person sit on a chair with a little piece of material, they would collect that piece of material and store it in a jar on a shelf with their name on it, just in case
they needed to track this person. dogs were especially trained to track these smell. jars with theent yellow material inside them. these are being stored in the headquarters. you have another artifact of a similar nature. >> they wanted to track somebody , they wouldity spray female dog hormones outside of their apartment. the would step on it, get dog hormone on their shoes. specially trained male dogs who can attract these hormones through the city, sometimes even for days.
in 1989 the berlin wall fell, east germany doesn't exist today. i know increasingly visitors don't remember the berlin wall, don't remember east berlin. we have this exhibit on cold war berlin, which to many of our theyors would be something don't know about at all. a physical barrier divided intoe of the same country two different societies and her memory the differences between the society. east germany is an example of surveillance state. talk about the balance between security and freedom.
the emphasis was certainly on security over freedom. forhink it's important people to remember what a state like that was like. and all the artifacts are getting people a taste of what it might have been like. we have hundreds of artifacts in this museum today. we hope you come to washington, d.c., visit the museum and visit other exhibits on other aspects of international espionage. >> you can visit programs anytime on our website. 30 years ago today the berlin wall opened, marking the beginning of the end of a
40-year-old cold war. tonight on real america, we take that historic day for a series of nbc news reports. here's a preview. >> we interrupt this program for an nbc news special report. >> here's the latest information coming to us from east germany where a short while ago government officials made the startling announcement that east german citizens will have the right to leave their country and travel directly to west germany and west berlin. it will no longer be necessary for them to travel to other communist nations. germansthousands of have been taking over these last several weeks. as you note the government is under heavy pressure. and from the tens of thousands in that country.
the story here says the communist leadership has decided to draw up a new travel law. rightermans will have the to cross through all border points between east germany and west germany. that announcement was made in the news conference. two points to keep in mind, the berlin wall, the wall of concrete and barbed wire still stands. east german and east berliners will now have the right to include the wall directly into west berlin. >> travel back in time 30 years to november 9, 1989 and watch the fall of the berlin wall at
10 p.m. eastern tonight on real america. explore our nation's past. the c-span's cities tour visited various historic sites. we will tour the wyoming territorial prison, which became the symbol of law and order during the turmoil of the wild west. >> this site is about the convicts. it's about how their life will change and how the judicial system and prison incarceration system hasn't changed that much. this prison had a very diverse history.